A year ago they were preparing for their final collegiate season, hoping to end it on a high-note by winning a bowl game.
Now they are professional players in the National Football League looking to make an immediate impact for the San Diego Chargers.
“It’s a blessing,” said versatile first-round pick
Training camp is officially underway as rookies kicked off the season with a lively practice this afternoon at Chargers Park. The session started off with each unit working out individually before the offense and defense squared off in a series of non-contact drills.
“These few days we are dealing with our young guys,” said head coach Norv Turner. “I really think it’s critical for them to give them an opportunity and get them into the swing of things before our veterans get here. It was a nice start for the young guys.”
While they have spent most of their lives on the gridiron, the players relish the chance to get some work in before the whole team hits the field together on Thursday.
“This is an opportunity that we get early to get our feet wet and get back into things,” said
The rookies don’t have the luxury of easing into the swing of things. Once the veterans report, they are expected to hit the ground running, and today they got a taste of how different the game is at this level as quarterback
“It’s a whole lot different,” said safety
Conversely, those on offense saw their level of play rise with one of the league’s best throwing them the ball.
“It’s like a reality check to have him back there,” said fourth-round pick, tight end
As much as it is a dream come true, the rookies know now is not the time to get complacent. They aren’t satisfied to simply make it to the NFL; they want to produce and make an impact.
“It’s not enough just to be here,” said Taylor, summing up the sentiments of his fellow rookies. “It felt good to be flying around out there making plays, and I’ve got to keep grinding and keep working to get those opportunities and make the most out of them.”
• In addition to Rivers, a select number of veterans joined the rookies on the field, including
• Parrish served as the punt returner during special teams drills
• The team spent a large portion of time working on their third-and –intermediate sets (three, four and five yards).
• Follow hashtag #sdtc12 on twitter for exclusive photos and information during each training camp practice.